Can Current Science Give Us Access to Reality?

Can the Scientific Method as now practiced and based on naive realismïve_realism; give us access to the nature of Fundamental Reality  – the “stuff” or “essence” of the universe?

Deepak Chopra, MD, Menas Kafatos, PhD, and Neil Theise, MD


Here are some of our thoughts, gleaned from our own contemplative practices, meditation, experiences of transcendence and conversations with other scientists who struggle with cosmic riddles:


  1. We have no access to fundamental reality — only to our perceptions and cognitions.
  2. “Empirical evidence” is a description of a species specific (human) mode of observation in a specific planetary system.
  3. The universe we describe in science is a human universe accessible through the perceptive capacities of the human organism (it’s not a bat or dolphin universe, etc.).
  4. The so called “hard problem” can be summarized as follows: We do not have an explanation for experience–any experience–mental or perceptual–how do photons going to the brain – become the experience of a 3D+1 reality in space and time or our own thoughts?
  5. Human knowledge is limited by the nature of human perceptive capacity and by the structure of language with several levels of abstraction by the time information gets to the brain
  6. The fine-tuning of the universe responsible for the manifestation of every phenomenon including our own brain body complex is unaccounted for.

There may be a solution to the “hard problem” based on a non-physicalist ontology (Vedanta and other contemplative traditions)


  1. Awareness is a non local possibility field that permeates and transcends space and time. (Bhagavad Gita – an Upanishad – states “I am the Field and the Knower of the Field’
  2. Awareness is One, perceptions are infinitely many — species and culture specific.
  3. Consciousness is an activity of awareness from atoms to cells to organisms to galaxies.
  4. Unpredictability is not complete randomness; it is limited randomness that opens the door to creative alternate possibilities for a self-organized universe that includes our own consciousness and our own modalities of consciousness — a universe hospital to life.
  5. Gödel’s theorem leaves room for creativity.
  6. Species-specific qualia vocabularies or non local conscious agents express themselves as species specific mental events, species specific physical bodies and perceptions.
  7. Evolution of the physical universe and biological forms within it are evolution of forms of consciousness.
  8. Max Tegmark is partially right—the universe is a mathematical structure.
  9. We need to go further – the universe as mathematical structures exists in non local consciousness.
  11. Quantifying an experience, as current science does not explain the experience, i.e. quanta are measurements; qualia are experiences – and therefore more real than their measurements!
  12. No system of thought scientific, religious or philosophical can give us complete access to reality as all systems of thought are based on subject object split – we pay lip service to non duality but thinking creates duality–its in the nature of language! Transcendence is our only option.
  13. Based on the above are the following conclusions:


  2. Consciousness is:
  • Sentient
  • Self Aware
  • Self Knowing
  • It is the sum of all complementarities including wave/particle, mind/brain, organism /environment, etc.
  • Self Organizing
  • Creative
  • Evolving as the appearance of many universes
  • Recursive with self regulating feedback loops
  • The consciousness universe is constituted of parts and wholes.



Kafatos, M., Nadeau, R. (2000). The Conscious Universe, New York, Springer-Verlag.

Grandpierre, A., Chopra, D., Doraiswamy, P. Murali, Tanzi, R., Kafatos, M.C. (2013). A Multidisciplinary Approach to Mind and Consciousness. NeuroQuantology, Vol. 11, No. 4, 607-617.

Theise, N. D., Kafatos, M. C. (2013). Sentience Everywhere: Complexity Theory, Panpsychism & the Role of Sentience in Self-Organization of the Universe. J. Conscious. Explor. & Res., Vol. 4, 378-390.

Theise, N.D., Kafatos, M. (2013) Complementarity in biological systems. Complexity, Vol. 18, No. 6, 11-20.

Kafatos, M.C., Kak, S. (2014) Veiled Nonlocality and Cosmic Censorship.

Chopra, D., Kafatos, M.C. Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles, Harmony, in press.

Kafatos, M., Tanzi, R., and Chopra D. “How Consciousness Becomes the Physical Universe” The Journal of Cosmology 14